Sunday, January 9, 2011

Finally broke the bonds of Vero Beach

Vero certainly was a stop that we wanted to make but we really didn’t have intentions of staying as long as we did. But then I don’t think many people do, it just happens. As I had said before, Vero is actually very cruiser friendly with the availability of getting what you need where you need. The bad thing however is sometimes it makes shopping too easy, thus spending money like it was burning a hole in our pocket. Let’s just say that it was time to move on as it was becoming too expensive to be here. We spent Christmas along with our friends Barbara and Klaus from s/v Klabara on board Tybee Time. I made a glazed ham along with the corn casserole I had been craving for some time. Klabara brought over red cabbage, dumplings with wonderful gravy and I made a nicely spiked rum cake for desert. We were gonna head to the boaters lounge for drinks and conversation with the other boaters but it had soon turned dark and had gotten too cold for any of us to want to brave the dinghy ride to do so. So instead we stayed here, drank warm gluehwein and watched a Jeff Dunham special. The weather had been cold and it was getting colder. Isn’t this Florida? Lucky for us we had bought that heater, but my goodness were we going through some propane. Your kind of limited as to how much you can buy, by the amount you can carry. Any boater knows that buying it from West Marine will put a major dent in the cruising kitty but the only other places were Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart which required switching buses and a longer commute. A few times we just bit the bullet and handed the money over to West Marine. Several nights we saw temperatures in the 20’s which didn’t allow the days to warm up too much. We spent our evenings keeping busy playing cards,
eating, and watching several movies we had purchased just for this reason. So with no weather to travel we stayed put and celebrated New Years Eve also in Vero. New Years day we looked at the weather and decided we needed to head south and so the following morning we paid our dues to the marina, untied ourselves from Klabara and slipped off the mooring ball. As we hit the south end of the mooring field Dirk blew the conch horn to say farewell to some new friends made, Kathy & Earl from s/v Seeker.
I have been in touch with Kathy for quite some time now as they own a 39 O’Day and well you tend to know others that own the same boat as you. I’m sure we will cross paths again as they are headed the same direction soon. We made our way to Jensen Beach Bridge and spent the first night in a long time anchored, and un-rafted. The following day we headed to West Palm Beach and it was what seemed like the land of bridges. When we left West Palm in June we had traveled the outside, I now know why. There are several fixed bridges that we could go under no problem but then you have 3 bridges that open on the half hour and one that is quarter after and quarter till. Well these bridges are situated so that when you go through the first one you have to race to get to the next and so on. If the bridge tender is late in opening or you have a current working against you, you may not make the next bridge, thus causing you to wait 30 minutes for the next opening. It’s not like you can pull over and park your boat while waiting, usually you have numerous fishing, pleasure boats that can make it under zipping past you left and right as you sit in the middle of the channel turning circles. It can be quite the nail biter at times and mentally wears you out. At least it does me and a lot more other boaters I have talked to. Finally we made it through all the bridges and picked our way to the south anchorage past the inlet and threw the hook out.Hopefully this will not be our home for long as we wait for the magical weather window in order to cross over the Gulf Stream and make it back to the Bahamas. The one nice thing here is that the weather has been warmer and we wore shorts for the first time in a long time. The water is clear enough that you can see the bottom so Dirk took advantage and dove in to clean the bottom of Tybee Time of all the slime build up from just sitting all that time. Unfortunately when he went down he noticed that our prop shaft zinc was missing, not good. The zinc on a boat is a chunk of lead used as a sacrificial metal to protect the exposed metals such as props, through hulls and so forth from being destroyed and eaten by stray current in the water. It’s difficult to explain if you’re not knowledgeable about how electrical current works on your boat when it’s plugged into shore power. Bottom line is that if your zinc is gone the current attacks the good stuff. How and when it came off, we don’t know but we had put a new one on in July when we had the boat hauled in Beaufort, NC. So the zinc was gone and our prop took the abuse. Dirk noticed the blades of the brass prop were beginning to have the edges eaten away. It wasn’t enough to cause any problems yet as it had been a while since we had been in a marina for any length of time but we felt we needed to get a spare prop and prop puller before heading to the Bahamas. Lucky for us we found a company in Washington State that could make it and ship it same day so that we could receive it the next. All the others were several hundred dollars more and wanted six weeks to get it in. Leave it to Dirk, he knows how to shop around. So now we sit, hopefully not too long here and wait along with several others for the weather to cross. Hopefully the next post you see is great news saying we finally made it.

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